Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday 30.6: Bench press, rowing and squats + handstand walk

Sunday. AM: Bench press singles 1-1-1-1-1 (max 100kg, PR). Metcon. 1k row, then 40 bench press (70kg), 1k row. Each time you rack the barbell, perform 15 air squats. Time 16.11. PM: Handstand walking.

Time to put the PR-shirt on and head to the gym. There was no room for error this time. I wrote it to my calendar a week ago that today I'm gonna break that damned 100kg in bench press. And the metcon to follow is a light version of what I've seen Blair Morrison do in the past. What he did was sick, I took it a bit easier.

Strength. Bench press 1-1-1-1-1 (70, 80, 90, 95, PR 100kg). No doubt about that 100k coming up. I only took couple of sets with empty bar and one set of 5x60 for starters, then started adding weights. This far I've done sets of 3 or 5 reps before I've tried that magical boundary to be crossed. Today my clear strategy was to do only singles. That 95kg was no problem, it felt good and I knew 100kg would come up as well. And it fit, had to work for it but it was a rep, PR!

Bench, 95kg

Bench, 100kg, PR

Metcon. Time 16.11

  • 1k row
  • 40 bench press, 70kg
  • 1k row
  • Every time you rack the barbell, perform 15 air squats on the spot

I saw this workout performed by Blair Morrison and fell in love with the wod immediately. He did 2k row in the beginning and in the end, plus he completed 100 bench presses in between… Well, my wod consisted of 1k row and 50 reps of bench press. Unfortunately, as I re-counted the presses after the workout, I realized I had miscalculated and done only 40 reps, doup! What a rookie mistake. In that adrenalize flow I was sure I had done 50 but luckily I wrote those reps on paper and Pauliina asked my reps afterwards. That's when it hit me. So I obviously did 40 reps. Had I done 50 reps, it would have been probably 3 more bench sets.

The time after first kilometer in rowing was around 3.30 (1.45/500m), steady pace. It got my heart rate up and it was time to move on to the bench. Transition took some time as I knew I have to put a lot of effort in the first set of bench as I was aiming for 10 reps. Can't do that many 70kg presses when fatigue bothers. I got those ten reps and moved on to first set of air squats. I completed those bench presses in 7 sets so I had to do 6x15 air squats, not a bad amount of squats in one workout. It was definitely the easy part of the wod. I remember Blair doing 22 sets of squats. In those quantities, it's gonna hit you, no doubt about it. And he did 100 reps with bodyweight, huh.

Those bench sets were 10+8+6+4+4+4+4. The first two sets I felt strong and the barbell was moving nicely. Third one was still okay but from then on I managed only 4 reps at once. Finally I was happy to completing all those reps and it was time to get that last rowing kilometer done. The speed was fast, the digital screen on the rowing machine showed a pace of 1.38/500m for the first 300m. I realized it's not gonna be that for long but it simply felt so good in the beginning. I had to utilize that feeling because it was 100% sure it's gonna hurt in the end. And it did! In the middle my pace got slower and I felt the pain, little by little the pain crawled in. I felt my abs, legs and upper body in general being tense and hurt but the goal line was looming so kept on stroking. Got to 1.000m at 16.11.

A good workout to say the least! I think this one might be renewed after some time and this one with correct numbers, 50 reps and let's see what kind of weights. 70kg worked well today, it was perfect for the purpose I was looking for. Distance in the rowing was also good, don't even want to imagine what it would be like with 2k row in both end…

Handstand walking. In the afternoon we went outdoors to our back yard with Pauliina to play around. I concentrated in handstand walk. This time my goal was not just to stabilize myself but to walk forward. PR was about 3-4 meters. Take a look at some attempts below.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday 29.6: Rest day

Saturday. Rest day.

Time to step back for one day. Pauliina is having her birthday so we'll stay out of the Box and spend the day in other ways, trying my best to pamper this lady. Happy birthday my love!

This rest day comes in a good moment and is welcomed by my body. It feels good to relax and let the muscles recover. Especially my hamstrings and lower back needed this day. Tomorrow I'll hit it hard again.

In the mean while…

Source: google

Here's the next step in mastering handstand walk, guided by Dusty Hyland.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday 28.6: Kettlebells & burpees with a vest

Friday. Complete 100 kettlebell swings with a 32kg kb for time. Every time you drop the bell, perform 12 burpees on the spot. Wear a 9kg weighted vest throughout the workout. Time 7.34.

Those high-rep heavy deadlifts on Wednesday really got to my hamstrings and lower back. As I woke up yesterday, those muscles were Stiff. I've been trying to stretch them and use some tips from mobility.wod to loosed them up. Still, today they were disturbing me. For starters I took 2 sets of pull-ups and then a kettlebell oriented metcon. On the pull-ups I did 2 sets of max strict reps with that vest on. Result was 8 reps both times. The first set was palms facing off and the second one palms facing me.

Metcon. Time 7.34, sets of 50, 20, 15, 15 swings
  • 100 kb swings, 32kg
  • Every time you drop the bell, perform 12 burpees
  • Wear a 9kg weighted vest
Huh, I was afraid how this would feel because of those hamstring and lower back muscles hurting already in advance. Well, I had proper warm-up and was ready to start moving. Just as I was about to start my metcon I saw a girl having an accident at the gym. She dropped some weight on her head and started bleeding seriously from the back of her head. Luckily there was my neighbor at the gym as well to give some quick first aid to stop the bleeding. Hopefully everything is okay with her.

Back to the metcon. I was hoping to make it in 4 sets. The first set was naturally the best and longest. 50 swings made my heart beat but it was still okay. I started doing burpees immediately and was thinking about resting after those. The second set of swing was way tougher. I had to get 20 reps or more to stay in that 4-set scheme. My forearms started to feel very tense at this stage. Took another set of burpees to keep moving. The last burpees were heavy on this one.

There were 30 reps left with the swings. I decided to share it in half. Those 15 reps felt surprisingly bad. I did a lot of mental game inside my head to convince it's only 15 repetitions and the weight is not heavy, it's quickly over man. The last set of burpees was very tough. I had to rest for a while before I did them because my forearms were numb at this stage. Reps from 86 to 100 were disgusting. Had pretty much no strength left whatsoever but somehow I got the needed reps done.

Total of 100 swings with 32kg (3.200kg) and 36 burpees. All done with the weighted vest on. I'm telling you, it was far from convenient to keep that vest on after the workout. Had to get rid of it immediately. This got to my breathing quite efficiently and the most difficult part of it was the strength grip. I recommend to try it out!

Two-time champ is definitely out from this year's Games, it's a pity

This guy is still in, the 2-time champ is after his third in a straight in just one month time

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday 27.6: Snatches, squat/ohs metcon

Thursday. 10 x (hang squat snatch + full squat snatch). Metcon for time. 20 back squats (100kg), 20 OHS (50kg). Cycling to cool down.

Inspired by yesterday's success with hip mobility I decided to change some plans of today's workouts. I was planning to power snatches but was courage enough to trade it to squat snatches. Then a heavy metcon of back squats and overhead squats. Pony and Pauliina joined at the gym. Toni shared the first snatch workout with me.

Squat snatch
  • 10 x (hang squat snatch + full squat snatch)
  • Weights around 35-40kg
This workout worked perfectly for us. Both Toni and I did this, alternating. No need to rush, working on our technique. Neither of us have done squat snatches. Toni has probably made them with empty barbell, I did my first ones yesterday. We started by having only 30kg on the barbell, then for few rounds kept it at 35kg and the last 5-6 rounds it was 40kg. No need to add weights just for adding weights. This was a new thing for both of us so we wanted to stick to weights we are comfortable with. Having too much weight on the bar would not have worked for its purpose.

The first maybe 3 rounds it was kind of unstable work for both of us. Kind of wiggling and waggling with the bar overhead. With every rep we both felt it got better and it definitely looked better as we were coaching each other. This is new stuff for us so I think I was too cautious to lift the bar vigorously over my head and let it push me towards the ground. That's why the bar didn't land perfectly at each attempt. The weights were anyway light so that I was able to correct those flaws with strength. We should just add strength in the pull so that the bar would come down in upright vertical movement.

This was ideal training for us and boosted a lot of confidence in this movement. Got to have a huge warm-up on my hips and legs in general in order to do this one. Otherwise my hips won't flex enough.

Squat / Overhead squat. Time 7.06
  • For time:
  • 20 back squats, 100kg
  • 20 overhead squats, 50kg
Uuh, tough one. 20 reps each. My strategy with the squats was to finish it in 3 sets and overhead squats in 4 sets. With squats I took 8 reps at first try, then 7 and finally those 5 that were left. God damned I did good squats. Probably because my hips were so mobilized after those squat snatches. They were tough towards the end but manageable. Time after squats was 2.19. My legs were quite destroyed at this point and I had 20 reps left. Had to shake my legs each time I racked the bar with back squats or dropped the bar at OHS.

With overhead squats I wanted to make it in 4 sets. At first I did 6 reps, then 5. Had 9 left and my shoulders were shaking. Another set of 5 reps to make it 16 total reps. Last set, 4 reps: 3 left, 2 left, 1 left and my shoulders failed me, leaned forward and dropped the bar, damn! That was unreal. Only one simple rep left to do and I had to let it go. I want to believe it was more like a technical mistake of not concentrating enough and thus I didn't do enough work with my shoulders.

Eeach time I dropped the bar, I cleaned it up, placed it on the rack, put it on my back, jerked it up and started moving. I lost some valuable time on the last miss so it finally went over 7 mins. Had to re-collect my strength after each set, no matter was it back or overhead squat. Had I taken another set immediately after racking or dropping the bar, I don't think I could have made as long sets as today.

I still left with a goof feeling from the training. The first one was good technical progression and the latter one was a good battle of strength and metabolic conditioning. Afterwards 6min cycling to cool down, decreasing tempo gradually. Some mobility / stretching in the end.

Toni's workouts.
  • Same snatch combo as I did
  • Power cleans, 5x5 (all sets 60kg)
  • 5 rounds of: 20 sit-ups and 20 double unders. Time 6.23
He performed good with the snatches, no doubt about it. We both realized some clear development points in our action but overall, he did good. He took a metcon in the end with 2 basic movements, sit-ups and DU's. Would you believe it, he counted the double under reps correctly! Usually this guy does about 85% of the reps he's supposed to do. It's just too difficult to do the math. Well, I was giving him props for counting right. The answer was he intentionally counted to 23 reps to have it right =D

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday 26.6: Deadlifts, metcon + handstand

Wednesday. AM: Build up to 12rep deadlift in 15min (max 140kg). Metcon, 4rds of 15box and 10 T2B. Time 4.40. Squat snatch technique. PM: Handstand / headstand skills training.

A little different type of strength training for this Wednesday. High-rep sets of deadlifts, aiming to find a 12-rep max set in a certain time domain. Then a bodyweight metcon and some technique training. Pony is enjoying his summer holiday and stayed home to train at his back yard.

  • Deadlift
  • Build up to 12 rep max in 15min
  • Sets: 100, 110, 120, 130, 140kg
Had to check from my blog when was the last time I did deadlifts. It was actually about 3 weeks ago when I was on a date with benchmark wod Diane. And there was another metcon where I combined deads and box jumps, that was phenomenal workout. Today's workout was a copy paste stuff from Rob Orlando's workout of the day some time ago.

Usually my deadlift sets are around 3-5 reps when concentrating in developing strength. This was a nice variation to that rep-scheme. Doing 12 repetitions in a row is a totally different thing as grip starts to become challenging after about 8 reps. Those early sets were easy. The last 2 sets (130 and 140kg) were tough on my grip. Beforehand I thought 130kg would be manageable so it was cool to witness myself picking up the 140kg barbell and complete it all the way. At that point I had 5 full sets done so I figured it's time to call it quits.

I liked this kind of programming with the deadlifts. I believe it's more important to be able to move semi-heavy bars several times in a row than having a huge 1 rep max. It sure as hell feels good as I one beautiful day lift that magical 200kg =) but that's not the main purpose. It's more important to perform 21-15-9 type of workouts unbroken. Anyway, I feel like today's training with deads was great! I still had some strength left in my back but my grip started to get a little slippery so grip strength was more an issue than back strength.

Set of 100kg

Metcon. Time 4.40
  • 4 rounds of:
  • 15 box
  • 10 toes-to-bar
Something little fun to play around after the deadlifts. Box jumps and T2B's. Toes-to-bars are another movement that has been ignored, without a proper reason. This workout went pretty much unbroken except the last set of T2B's. I didn't rush anywhere and didn't run through the box jumps with huge pace. It was more like a solid smooth pace.

  • Squat snatch
  • Overhead squat
I wasn't done with my workouts. Didn't have anything in my schedule but somehow I wanted to do something more. I was thinking about mobility but then realized my squat snatch and overhead squat needs improvement and those two movements also mobilize my upper back and hips in a good way.

At this stage I realized my hips were loose and very active. I had no problems in squatting well over parallel. I took some snatches and then found a good stance to complete some overhead squats. Once I lowered my butt for the first time, it felt perfect! I was very startled how good it actually felt, how natural my hips were in that bottom position. I was able to sit down there in the bottom position, ass to the grass, so to say. I didn't have to slow the movement as I lowered myself but I hit the bottom and stayed there for a few seconds just to find natural position.

After some overhead sets I was confident in trying directly squat snatch. A movement I believe I have never done in one smooth continuation. I tried it and it went perfectly to the bottom! No hip pain whatsoever. Had to redo them several times to proof myself it wasn't by accident. I did quite a lot of squat snatches today because it felt awesome! Hopefully I can activate my hips and upper back as well as today in the future because that squat snatch is a sick movement which I'd like to learn properly.

For cooling down, 6 min cycling with decreasing tempo.

Handstand training. As I got home that back yard of mine looked so tempting that I had to chill out for a sec and then put on some training shorts and walk outdoors. I managed well today. I want to believe I'm taking those important steps to master this skill at the end of the summer. Mastering means handstand walking about 10 meters in a row. Take a look at some clips from this afternoon.

Handstand training

Handstand walking

Headstand training

Toni's workout. Metcon.
  • 4 rounds of:
  • 1min, thrusters 50kg
  • 1min, double unders
  • 1min, walking lunges
  • 1min, V-ups
  • 1min rest
The only thing Pony counted, was the number of thrusters. They were 8, 8, 6, 6 reps in those 4 rounds. The picture is from his back yard. Perfect training spot I would say. If I had that, I'd probably be handstand walking and carrying that tractor tire every day. I'm happy for him to have those bumper plates now worth 60kg, that allows him to do incomprehensible amount of workouts.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday 25.6: Sandy and snatches

Tuesday. Emom, 3 push press for 10min. Metcon of sandy lunges, kb snatches and waiter's walk.

Training day @ Pirkkola outdoor sports center! The gang was me, comeback-Pony and Marko, the new crossfitter, awesome! First we headed to the gym and afterwards some metcons outdoors. Barbell action consisted of push presses. Tony brought the "Sandy", our 25kg sandbag, and I had some kettlebells with me.

The trio


Strength / metcon.

  • Every minute on the minute (emom) for 10min
  • 3 push press

Before Marko arrived at the place, I took some muscle-up training and Toni focused in his pull-ups. I somehow hurt my elbows and they felt sore in the same way as they felt in the end of last year. I genuinely hope that pain will go away. Last time it bothered me for months.

I took 2 sets of push presses with 60kg and stepped back for the guys to finish it. My plan was to do 3 reps each minute @ 70kg for 10min. That would have been an awesome one. Was so frustrated in not being able to finish the workout but luckily that didn't stop me from moving on to the metcon.

Metcon. Result 6 rounds + 12m lunges

  • 15min amrap of:
  • 20m sandy lunges
  • 20 kettlebell snatches, 20kg
  • 40m waiter's walk, 20kg
This was a good workout. A triplet. Sandy was as cool as it's always been. Those lunges got to my hamstrings and glutes. Kettlebell snatches raised my heart rate up. There were a total of 120 snatches so towards the end it consumed some of my sharpest strength away. Waiter's walk was rest time for me. It was definitely too light weight or short distance. I tried this movement for the first time. It might have been a different ball game with 32kg bell. I'd like to try overhead carries anyway, with a barbell or kettlebells, doesn't matter as long as there's enough weight.

Total of 132m sandy lunges, 120 kettlebell snatches (2.400kg) and 240m waiter's walk.

Sandy lunges, listen to the sound of Toni puffing in the background =)

Snatches & lunges

Toni's metcon. Time 16.05. Compare to 30.7.2012.
  • 4 rounds of:
  • 400m run
  • 50 air squats
Back to the roots! This was the first crossfit workout ever done by Toni. He was a bit intimidated when he saw the track but before long he heard the magical 3-2-1-go and off he went. His time this time was 16.05.

400m run



Marko's metcon
  • 15min amrap of:
  • 20m bear crawl
  • 10 kb snatches
  • 40m waiter's walk
It's important to Marko to concentrate in workouts that make his heart do the job, get the sweat running and make some muscles hurt. That's why we came up with some new movements as well to create some versatility. Bear crawl seemed to be the most difficult part of it. Snatches flew up and waiter's walk looked good as well. That bear crawl was the diamond of the wod. It was spectacular watch him moving up and down the track. Towards the end he was actually able to improve his time on the last 2 rounds. Mental game!

Waiter's walk

Bear crawl

He's done!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday 24.6: Bench, floor press, barbell metcon

Monday. For time: 5-4-3-2-1 clean, push press with increasing weight. Bench press 5x5, floor press 5x10.

I saw Rob Orlando posting his barbell metcon one day in Facebook. That video inspired me to try this one out. It was a strength type of workout against time. Then I took bench and floor press strength to follow. Some ancillary action in the end.

Pony FINALLY got his new plates delivered at his place

Metcon. Time 6.51 (failed on the last rep)

  • 5-4-3-2-1
  • Power clean
  • Push press
  • Weights: 60, 65, 72.5, 77.5, 82.5kg

So this was not clean & jerk but first a number of power cleans, then push presses. Time after 77.5kg: 5.23. Spent one and a half minute on the last rep and still failed to get full extension, f**k! I re-repped it after I stopped shooting the video 'cause that last rep made me angry. I wanted to take it up and I did! Prepped myself mentally for it so had no other option but to be successful.

It was a good workout, had to catch a breath between sets because the idea was to increase load after each set. I wanted to make the presses unbroken to avoid extra power cleans. I stuck to the plan all the way. It was a nice variation to go entirely for power cleans instead of squat cleans. The weights were so moderate clean-wise that I was able to do them without squatting.

However, the presses were tough as I moved on with heavier weights. The only no-rep was still the last one, 82.5kg. Should have nailed that one immediately. Luckily I got it after 2min rest so I was able to walk away with a smile.

Barbell metcon

Strength. Bench press 5-5-5-5-5 (80kg). Floor press 10-10-10-10-10 (60kg). I believe I'll try to squeeze bench training in occasionally. It definitely isn't the most important movement for me but I'll put it on my schedule maybe more often. At least that's the feeling right now. My strategy with the weights was to keep the kilos same throughout those 5x5 sets. I had predetermined it @80kg. That could have been a little heavier but I didn't have a spotter in the beginning so I played it safe. And I wanted to get it up all 5's, no exceptions. I felt strong with bench today and I believe my technique is better than it used to months ago, no surprise though.

Floor press, hmm. Guess I've done it once before. Not a bad movement. I was thinking about a 3min amrap as a metcon but once again, a spotter would have been valuable. Since I was alone, I decided to change it to 5x10 reps. I really got my triceps hurt in a good way. The first sets weren't that bad but in the last 2 rounds the last 2 repetitions were tough.

Cashout. For quality

  • 4 rounds of:
  • 10 curls
  • 20 air squats, then
  • 6min cooling down with crosstrainer, starting high intensity, deloading after each 2min.

Some extra work for arms, spiced with a little breathing exercise. Crosstrainer was used to get fluids moving in my body after something that could be called a meathead training session. Tomorrow it's time for another outdoors training session with Marko. And Pony has promised to make a comeback @ Don's Crossfit, hahaa, yeah!

Home-made protein bars manufactured @ home with Pauliina, tasty! :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday 23.6: Back squats, metcons + handstand skills

Sunday. AM: Back squats 3-3-3-3-3 (max 130kg). Metcon, 6 rounds of hero wod Nick. Time 16.00. PM: Handstand skills training.

I was ready to pump it up after a rest day. Pauliina joined me at the box early in the afternoon for a training session. From the members' book we saw there had been only 2 persons training in the last 2 days. Guess the Midsummer party in Finland has taken its' toll on people =) I'm guessing tomorrow there's another mood and people are back at the gym. I went after squat triples today, followed by half a hero wod and some weighted vest action. Couple of hours later I concentrated in skills training.

Strength. Back squats 3-3-3-3-3 (100, 110, 120, 125, 130kg). I was hoping to make good numbers today after a rest day. My 1rep max is 140kg. Today's focus was in triples. I was hoping to nail that 130kg with which I've had some troubles lately. I've been able to get it up as single lift when I've tried it but a triple has been challenging. Today I skipped 80kg from my warm-up, did only cold bar squats and 60kg warm-up after jumping directly to 100kg. Of course I warmed-up in other ways but didn't want to put too much focus on semi-weights. Max load today was 3x130kg, I'm very happy about these lifts today.

Back squats 3x120kg

Metcon. Time 16.00

  • 6 rounds of:
  • 10 hang squat cleans with dumbbells, 20kg each hand
  • 6 handstand push-ups

Quite a thorough workout for upper body if you ask me! Hero workout Nick, dumbbell squat cleans and hspu's. Rx'd this workout is done for a total of 12 rounds. That would total 72 handstand push-ups which is clearly too much for me in one day. Well, there would have been 120 cleans as well but that would have been manageable. My version of the workout was 6 rounds, or half a Nick.

The work done with dumbbells must be beneficial. The movements are so much different if you compare them with barbell work. And you really see the difference between arm / shoulder strength. I can see my right side is slightly stronger than my left, especially in presses and grip strength. Left arm starts to wiggle a bit earlier than right one.

Those handstand push-ups started to wear me out after a couple of rounds. First round unbroken, then 4+2, then the last 4 rounds it was probably in 3 sets. What took me time was the time between those sets because I know that if I try to rush it and force another hspu, it will be very very challenging without recovery. I had 2 failed reps as I was not listening to my burning shoulders. Attempted a rep but couldn't straighten myself and lock the elbows so had to take a short break to recover.

That other movement, hang squat cleans with dumbbells, was cool! It was a forearm burner and once I let go of the db's, my shoulders were firing up as well. But I liked it =) Thought it would be tough on legs as well because of all that squatting before and during the workout but it wasn't.

Cashout. Not for time. 20 to 2, down by 2's, sit-ups and presses.

  • 20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2
  • Sit-ups
  • Strict dumbbell press, 2x10kg
  • Wear a 9kg vest

I brought my 9kg vest just in case with me and I'm happy I did so. In the end the cashout consisted of regular crossfit style sit-ups and strict dumbbell presses with 10kg dumbbells each arm. Weight wasn't heavy because the point was to move fast. There were a total of 110 reps each movement. Starting from 20 reps, coming down by 2's all the way to 2 reps. Had my vest on the entire time. After the workout we did some other style of ab work with Pauliina as well, she had some good training tips there. Finally 5min work with crosstrainer to cool down.

Handstand training. After coming home we ate at the balcony and I realized the view was perfect. I couldn't ignore the freshly planted grass matt at our back yard. There was simply no other chance but to go and practice handstand skills. My friend / neighbor also joined me there and we did handstand training and muscle-ups (at the kids playground swing). I saw the opportunity and utilized it =)

I had good attempts and I'm very satisfied to this session as well, actually the entire day was a good training day!

Free handstanding

This little guy also had some advice to handstand training =)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday 22.6: Rest day

Saturday. Rest day.

Slept late, spent the entire day at the in-laws, ate good food, played some games and did a push-up with my baby on my back =)

Other than that, I did no sports whatsoever. It's been a while since total rest day and it was about time. My body needed this short break to just hang out outdoors with friends and eating food. Now I'll be prepared for tomorrow's workouts again.

Next episode from Dusty Hyland's handstand progression: "Shrug and shift"

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday 21.6: Rowing, burpees and sit-ups

Friday. 6 rounds of 500m row with 2:00 rest between sets. Metcon, 3rds of 10 burpees and 20 sit-ups, wearing a 9kg weight vest. Time 3.48.

Friday's program was all about metabolic conditioning. Rowing intervals as the main focus area. Total of 3k rowing in small pieces, trying to go all in. I also brought my weight vest to play a role in this training session. I utilized it for burpees and sit-ups. There has not been a single soul at the gym today nor yesterday since it's the finnish mid-summer holiday. The day is longest today, sun will not come down all day / night and people are pretty much at their summer cottages. We're also driving to the country side in the afternoon with Pauliina to meet with some friends.

Rowing. Times between 1.39-1.40.

  • 6 rounds of 500m row
  • 2:00 rest between rounds

My goal was to go fast each round, not looking to get a good average but to see how fast I can go and then try to maintain that speed through all 6 rounds. On the first round I was at 1.40 / 500m. On the second the same time. Actually, all 4 first rounds my time was identical, 1.40 on the clock =) At this stage I thought the following rounds I might lose a second or two but was actually able to drop 1 sec of the clock, reaching 1.39 on the last rounds. I was pretty wasted after the last round. I taped the first and fifth round, below you'll see some action from the 5th set.

Fifth set of rowing, time 1.39

Metcon. Timr 3.48

  • 3 rounds of:
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 sit-ups
  • Wear a 9kg weighted vest

Quick metcon in the end with burpees and sit-ups. Didn't want to take any barbell / dumbbell / kettlebell work today, simply focusing on bodyweight movements spiced with a 9kg vest. What's a better conditioning movement than burpees? It's pretty much the best. Sit-ups as a friend for those burpees. The nature of both movements is different when you wear a vest. Haven't done many vest burpees, definitely wears a man out better and quicker than a traditional burpee. Surprisingly those sit-ups got to my core, even though there were only 60 of them. Guess it was simply the extra weight that had to be carried. Go figure, have to try them more to find the answer. Should utilize this vest more anyway, it seems to be an awesome equipment!

Metcon of burpees and sit-ups

Thursday, June 20, 2013

30.000 hits on Don's Crossfit

As of yesterday evening, there have been 30.000 visits on my blog. It is a mind-warming idea that so many people have taken a look at this crossfit training diary this far. These small steps are important milestones to me. I created this blog to keep a track on how I work out and what kind of results I would gain through crossfit. If I can get someone else moving as well alongside me, I'm more than happy.

It's been a wild journey to live and die through crossfit. To throw your heart in the game has been a blessing. Prior to crossfit, I played floorball for about 10 years and the last years on a national level. Still, I could have never dreamed of obtaining such a fitness level in such a short time by engaging in this new sport. Luckily for me, my bro was persistent and kept on talking me in.

Since then, I've been able to sign in some new people in trying out crossfit. I believe it's my duty as I want people to be healthy. This far I haven't come across a better and more efficient way to improve in all levels of fitness. Probably it's not the best way if you want to be the absolute strongest, or if you want to be the the new Usain Bolt or if you want to be a perfect gymnast but it sure as hell enables you to be good in all of the above mentioned.

Take a look at a fine example of something a crossfitter is supposed to master. This is part 4 of Dusty Hyland's training videos concerning handstand: "Box walk / Wall shuffle". You'll find the earlier clips in previous posts.

Thursday 20.6: Cleans and metcon

Thursday. Warm-up, cycling and Prasara Yoga. Strength: Cleans (all sets 80kg). Metcon, 3 rounds of Erin. Ancillary movements for arms and shoulders.

Today's set included some yoga to start with, heavy cleans followed by 3 rounds of benchmark wod Erin. I also did few sets of ancillary work for upper body in the end. And mobility. The coolest part of this session was the yoga set which I have now tried to occasionally include in my training hours.

Pauliina doing push press

Cleans. Sets of power clean and squat clean: 3x80, 5x80, 5x80, 5x80, 2x80kg. Today I decided to use a different type of approach in determining the weights on the barbell. Traditionally I've increased the kilos after each set for as long as it's possible. This time the weight stayed the same (80kg each set, bodyweight, 85% of max) and tried to finish it till the end. Original plan was to do triples but after first set I decided to go for 5's.

Attempting a pose called "half crow"

I wasn't quite sure what kind of cleans I'd like to do so finally I mixed power and squat cleans. Don't know if that's the smartest thing to do but anyway, on the first set I went all power cleans. On the second I took one power clean, on the third set 3 power cleans and on from then on only power versions. So 14/20 were power cleans.

It felt better to do power cleans instead of squat cleans. That's because those hamstrings were not that flexible even though I've tried to loosen the muscles. Considering those were power cleans, I must be happy with the amount of reps completed. On each set but the last I managed to push through the pre-determined sequence. There were a total of 20 reps. It wasn't long ago since I posted a clean single lift-PR video of 80kg.

Metcon. Didn't time this one.
  • 3 rounds of Erin:
  • 15 dumbbells split clean, 17.5kg
  • 21 pull-ups
This has been on my calendar for about 2 weeks now. I've been checking this workout earlier and today decided to hit 3 rounds of it after strength cleans. Clearly my upper back was not feeling totally fresh and I had some problems with pull-ups. Split cleans with dumbbells are something I haven't done ever in my life. Not a bad movement at all!

DB split clean

Yep, it looks a bit different when this guy does the same movements. Hopefully my mobility improves through this new practice method. Prasara Yoga - Half Crow

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday 19.6: Hero wod Loredo

Wedneday. Hero workout Loredo. Time 22.49.

Today was the day of the week when I met my friend Marko to work outdoors. Pirkkola is the classic venue for our war field. As usual, we integrated running with bodyweight movements to get the sweat flooding and the heart pumping. My training partner worked hard today and I'm sure his overall fitness jumped forward due to Loredo. My legs are still incredibly sore and I did a lot of mobility today during work day as well. I had some petanque balls at my office so I placed them between my hamstrings and the office chair to cause positive pain in my legs and thus ease the tension there.

Loredo. Time 22.49

  • 6 rounds of:
  • 24 squats
  • 24 push-ups
  • 24 lunges
  • 400m run

There's a total of 144 reps each bodyweight movement accompanied with 2.4km run, for time. A lot of leg work. Today I'll have to repeat yesterday's cold / hot treatment in the shower to get the fluids running in my legs. I don't quite know what's the hardest part of this workout. It was a steady performance and legs were burning. Yeah, but still it was totally manageable. The amount of reps per round was not huge so they were also moderate in difficulty level as well.

I was afraid of the push-ups in advance, thinking about the number of total reps to be completed. But, I performed well with them. 3 rounds unbroken, then 16+8, and on the last 2 rounds 14+5+5, with just a 5sec rest between sets. The lunges were burning my legs the most. Luckily there were only 24 of them per round. Going for 50m would have been very tough. On the running I also consider maintaining a pretty steady pace throughout the workout. Below you'll see my round times.

Round times

  1. 03:15
  2. 03:34
  3. 03:53
  4. 04:08
  5. 04:11
  6. 03:49
My strategy was not to gas myself out early in the workout. Remembering all metcons with running and bodyweight moves combined, the first feeling I have that once you rush in the start, you'll be too exhausted in the finish. By maintaining a steady performance, you'll usually achieve a better result. Well, go figure. This was my strategy today and I enjoyed this workout.

Toni's workout. Grace. Time 4.50

  • Benchmark wod Grace
  • 30 reps for time
  • Clean & jerk, 60kg

This guy went for Grace. It's been a while since he's done it. I found his Grace from last December. However, it was with 50kg, time was 4.04. Don't know if he's done it since then with rx'd weights. I believe he has but I need some confirmation. How is it Pony?

Third clip from Dusty Hyland & Virtuosity: "Shoulder taps". Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday 18.6: Burpees, ring dips and du's

Tuesday. Ring muscle-up skills training. Metcon. 40 burpees buy-in, then 4 rds of: 15 ring dips and 50 double unders. Cashout with 40 burpees. Time 15.27. Mobility.

My legs are destroyed after Sunday's kettlebell work added with yesterday's lower body workouts. Today's focus was on metabolic conditioning with the help of burpees and double unders. Upper body / triceps were also in real test because of the ring dips. Did some Prasara Yoga and stretching for mobility.

Ring muscle-ups. Tried to get that first muscle-up on the rings today. Actually I tested a new thing. I tied a rubber band around my legs to prevent my legs to wonder around. This proved to be a good point and my attempts were way more solid and balanced than before. To how I see it, the swing and pull parts are okay, good enough and I'm able to pull myself high enough to complete a rep. However, my legs do not perform the correct motion in the end of the movement, the kick backwards. They tend to stay in front of my body so I can't turn myself over the rings. This was a good notification of my own performance. Definitely eases the progression as I understand the deficits in my technique. Gonna make it some day!

Metcon. Time 15.27
  • 40 burpees, then:
  • 4 rounds of
  • 15 ring dips
  • 50 double unders, then:
  • 40 burpees to finish it

Note to self: no more burpees and dips in a same workout! How did I forget this combo, just combined them a bit over a month ago. Starting with 40 burpees to get gassed early in the workout. Then 4 rounds of ring dips and double unders. After 4 rounds of these 2 movements, finish the workout with another set of 40 burpees. Total of 80 burpees, 60 ring dips and 200 double unders. Those were good heavy-breather movements.

And why is the combination of burpees and dips a bad ass? Because the triceps will tire. Dips and triceps in general, I consider them not my strength so this was a good workout to practice them. I'll fix this issue so I don't have to talk about it anymore. Anyway, my dips were the bottleneck in this workout. And the last set of burpees was tough on my arms, the strength was simply gone in the dips.

In the double unders, I was good. Not a single miss during the workout, even though my hands, triceps and shoulders were tired and breathing was heavy. I split them intentionally in sets of 30+20 each round. I'm very happy I didn't have to put any time there in vain. DU's rolled well.

After having finished the workout I figured this workout worked perfectly for its purpose. Get the heart pumping strong and keep on continuing the movement. Ring dips slowed my down but still I didn't take too long breaks there either. Pace was slowing down towards the end but still I call this a solid performance.

Took a few sets of head standing before moving on to mobility. I did something remotely like these Prasara Yoga movements. I really like the way this guy moves. I'm going to give it a shot and try these moves out in the future, either as warm-up or as afterwork.

Toni's workouts.
  • Deadlift 3-3-3-3 (120, 130, 130, 130kg)
  • Emom for 12min: 5 hang power snatch (40kg)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday 17.6: Back squats, clean and jerk, metcon

Monday. Back squats 3-3-3 (max 130kg). Clean & jerk EMOM workout. Assistance metcon of kb ohs, push-ups and glute ham raises.

God damned that yesterday's kettlebell work feels in my body. In my entire body! A good solid and quick workout, 12 minutes of work and I can really feel it in my hamstrings, glutes, lower and upper back, a.k.a the entire posterior chain. I stubbornly wanted to squat as that was my original plan. Continued by clean & jerks and some assistance work in the end.

Strength. Back squats 3-3-3 (100, 120, 130kg). Today the weights were a bit different than normally. Usually after 100kg the next step is 110 and maybe even 115 before hitting 120kg. Today my strategy was different. Jump right into 120kg and then 130kg. I managed to get those up and it felt way better than before. Got to remember this when squatting for the next time. Note to self: don't wear yourself down with too many sets before the "targeted" weights.

Metcon. Clean & jerks, 60kg. Total of 40 reps.
  • Every minute on the minute (EMOM) for 8 minutes
  • 5 clean & jerks, 60kg
Trying to improve on a few things. To mention a couple: high-rep c&j, grip strength, mental game, breathing, metabolic conditioning and technique after quite a number of reps. My jerks were more like push presses today. However, that was intentional, this time. I wanted to give more stress on my shoulders and make it harder for them.

Metcon. For completion
  • 5/5 kettlebell overhead squats, 16kg
  • 15 push-ups
  • 10 glute ham raises (modified)
Some assistance work. There was a point for all these movements. Overhead squats to get familiar with the movement and increase mobility as well as confidence carrying weights overhead. Push-ups are my goat, have to improve on them. Glute ham raises to strengthen my hamstrings as a new movement to shock my legs. This was not a timed workout, only for completion.

Those glutes were tough. I used that Bosu ball as alternative (check the video below from about 02:40 to understand the movement). I can already feel my hamstrings taking the hit from squats and this new movement.

Check out some alternatives for glute ham raises if you're missing the equipment like I do

How about Blair Morrison's workout, looks awesome, hopefully I can try it some day. Read the blog post from here.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday 16.6: Handstand, kettlebell

Sunday. Handstand skills training. Kettlebell swings for 5.760kg.

As we woke up in the morning, there was a nice invitation from the in-laws to come and join them for Sunday lunch at their place. There was no doubt of hopping in the car and driving to enjoy the delicious food fest prepared by these awesome persons =) We were supposed to go to the gym and my schedule stood 3k rowing, 300 double unders as skills training and ring skills. I was soon to determine a new workout that can be done outdoors.

Handstand training. After a few hours of enjoying Pauliina's parents' company and having a full stomach I started with handstand training. At the time I started it was raining a bit but little by little the grass was soaking wet. And it had been raining for quite some time prior to my training. I might have been a bit too cautious with my kicks up. Okay, I performed okay but I've have better handstand trainings. There were times my body was stable.

Kettlebell EMOM metcon.
  • Every minute on the minute for 12 minutes
  • 15 kettlebell swings, 32kg
My car is always loaded with my kettlebells, my sugars 20kg and 32kg bells. I tried a new movement - turkish get-ups - and understood I've neglected this awesome movement for no reason whatsoever. Have to keep on adding that occasionally. I've read some kettlebell training stuff on recent articles on a web site that seems to be nearing perfection, This specific article opened my eyes to the benefits of working with kettlebells.

After trying out that new movement, I moved on to my workout of the day. It was all about kettlebell swings. Total of 5.760kg of them… Complete 15 reps of 32kg kb swings each minute. Repeat the same scheme for 12 minutes. I realized after 4 minutes it's gonna be a tough one. Breathing got heavier and most of all, my forearms were going numb. It took about 30 seconds to finish those 15 reps each minute.

After 6 minutes it was a struggle. I managed to run through about 8 rounds unbroken. Then I had to break it. First to 10+5, then 8+7, 8+4+3 and 5+5+5. That's what I remember. I was glad the workout was over! My forearms were totally in fire, and it hurt for a long time after the workout as well. A good workout in short time. My form stayed good the entire workout, no arching in the back. The swings were made american style, i.e. swinging it overhead, not eye-level.

Here's a clip from the end of the workout.

Second step in perfecting the handstand walk. Compliments from DowTown Crossfit and Dusty Hyland. Continuance to yesterday's opening part.

Virtuosity, Dusty Hyland: Handstand balance

Saturday 15.6: Clean and jerk, bench press, dumbbell action

Saturday. Clean & jerk (up to 80kg), bench press (up to 95kg). Dumbbell metcon.

Today's program was about working with barbells and dumbbells. Some clean & jerk for starters and bench press.

Strength. C&J and bench.

  • Clean & jerk, 5x60, 3x70, 3x75, 2x80 (failed on the third rep at 80kg)
  • Bench press, 3x70, 3x80, 3x90, 1x95, failed on 100kg

That 90kg bench was sick. I believe I've done that weight only in singles before. Now I hit a triple, nice! After all that work with clean & jerks and bench, 100kg didn't come up. I'm sure it would if going only after a record with singles. You'll find those attempts in Youtube.



Dumbbell workout. Increase load between sets. Not for time. Sets: 17.5, 20, 22.5, 22.5, 22.5kg db's.

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 5 deadlift
  • 5 hang cleans
  • 5 press
  • 5 squat

Rest between sets as needed. Had no idea what weights would suit for me to start with. I grabbed 17.5kg, added to 20kg and finished the last 3 cycles with 22.5kg. Grip strength was the name of the game.

Take a look at this series of handstand training. I'll keep adding the rest of the season clips, awesome tips to proceed in handstand walk (up the stairs…)

Virtuosity, Dusty Hyland: Handstand position

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday 14.6: Active rest

Friday. Active rest. Cycling, rowing, mobility, stretching.

Today was my day off of crossfit. Pauliina desired to go to the gym so I joined her, did some light work to mainly mobilize my body and enhance the recovery. I cycled for 10 minutes, did 5-10min something remotely close to "pigeon to pigeon transitions", inspired by crossfit athlete Blair Morrison's blog post. Then I rowed slowly for 1k, did foam rolling and finally stretching. A good mobility session and definitely nothing strenuous.

Today I really needed a break and I will take this possibility not to work out. I'm gonna stuff food in my mouth, enjoy the company of my girlfriend and get ready for tomorrow's training. I was extremely happy as I received a package from Rogue today, including 2 t-shirts for me, 1 for Pony and 1 for my bro. I also bought 2 jump ropes, for Marko and one for back up =)

Your gear has arrived!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday 13.6: Squats

Wednesday. Doubles in overhead squat, front squat, back squat.

It's been a while since previous rest day and I believe the time to chill is close. My body wasn't at it's  best with the doubles. Still, I was close to a PR in one of the squats. Overhead, front and back squats, some cycling in the end to flush the legs.

Strength. Squat doubles. Easy on the back squat

  • Overhead squat 2-2-2-2 (50, 55, 60, 65kg, 70 failed)
  • Front squat 2-2-2-1 (100, 110, 120, 125kg)
  • Back squat 2-2-2 (100, 110, 120kg)

Main goal was to perform well in the overhead squats. My legs were okay but other than that my body feels a bit stiff. Had scheduled something rough for tomorrow but got to lighten it definitely. I wonder if something has suddenly happened to my overhead squats? Just like that I feel way more comfortable having the bar overhead in a wide grip. And lowering my ass, I still felt good and had no troubles lowering hip crease below knees. Awesome!

I took only doubles today because I wanted to do also front squats (and maybe some back squats). Starting from 50kg, adding 5kg after every set. My previous record was a single rep with 65kg. That time I got it perfectly only after second try. Today I managed 2 reps with that same weight and it felt very good. I was confident of nailing 70kg as well. I tried it twice, failed on both of them. On the first time my hands leaned forward just a little but too much and you know the moment is gone.

I tried it again and something freaky happened. On my behind the neck press I wasn't able to lock my other elbow and the barbell started to come back down. It's difficult to stop that gravity and I definitely can not lower it to my back rack position. So the bar started coming down towards my back / neck so I had to watch out and I moved the barbell in front of me to drop it. Luckily I was able to get my head from under the bar. It was close and kinda scared me. I would have nailed the OHS, I'm sure, the 65kg felt so good. Have to wait for the next time to pr on this one.

Then I moved on to front squats. At this time there was another guy to squat with me. He was way shorter so we lowered the rack. I had to adjust the bar on my front rack from a semi-squat position =) I did doubles up to 120kg and the weight was comfortable at this stage still. The last 5kg increase on the weight sealed the deal. I took a single rep and was done.

There was no reason for me anymore to do those back squats but stubbornly I did some reps. My legs were not that receptive anymore at this stage.

Toni's workouts. Squat and bench press.

  • Back squat 5-5-5-5-5 (80, 90, 95, 100, 110kg)
  • Bench 5x80, 3x90, 1x100kg, 105 failed
  • 21-15-9, bench (50kg), burpees.

Here's a good article on why to have a training partner with you. Article from Fit As Fu*k

Take a look at Graham Holmberg - Games Champ from 2010 - performing this year.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday 12.6: DU skills, shoulder press

Wednesday. DU skill. Shoulder press (max 60kg). Mobility.

Was so tired in the morning but after breakfast I was ready to get own my way to the gym. Schedule was concentrated in skills and mobility but couldn't skip strength totally. I did 5 sets of shoulder press, haven't been doing them after April?!? It feels like it wasn't that far away but I guess it was.

DU skills. For quality.
  • 200 reps
Another skill that needs to be practiced. Can not take this for granted. I trained and trained this for months and finally achieved a level where I feel comfortable moving up and down with the jump rope. My PR in consecutive repetitions in double unders is 100 reps but that seems like a distant dream currently. Only because I haven't been doing this skill movement. I put a note on my excel to incorporate double unders in metcons and in skills training sessions. Just like we used to do with Pony when we both were learning this skill fiercely.

Strength. Shoulder press, 5 sets.
  • 5x50, 4x55, 3x60, 4x60, 4x60kg
It was cool to do some old school stuff again. Five sets of shoulder press. I went on by feeling, not following a strict plan of doing something like 3's or 5's. I took off with 5x50, then added 5kg, and another 5kg to reach 60kg. After first set with that weight I realized there's no point in adding it to 65kg 'cause I wanted more than 1-2 reps. I repeated it and got 4 reps, what happened? Mental game. Took another and last set, completed 4 reps again. I liked it!

I used a lot of time in mobility between DU's and shoulder press as well as in the end of the training session. I felt like my muscles hurt and they needed some treatments. Activating, foam rolling and stretching the entire body.

Toni's workouts. Push press 5x60, 5x65, 3x70, 3x75, 3x80kg.

  • Metcon, not timed.
  • 30-20-10
  • Kettlebell swings, 24kg
  • Push-ups, surprise ;)
  • Air squats

Rory McKernan talks with "the dad"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday 11.6: Nicole

Tuesday. Benchmark workout Nicole. 8 rounds and 120 pull-ups.

I'm waiting forward to these outdoor training sessions! We have agreed with Marko to meet in Pirkkola, outdoors sports center where they also have track and field possibilities. It's also the venue for "HC Triplet II, in to the woods". This time we were going to include running and other bodyweight movements. A new benchmark was ahead of me, girl named Nicole.

Nicole. Result. 8 rounds, 120 pull-ups.

  • Complete as many rounds in 20min as you can of:
  • 400m run
  • Max rep pull-ups
How simple can a workout be? Run and do pull-ups, period. The location of the pull-up bar is not close to the track so we ran in the middle of the forest. I've enjoyed these running metcons, at least this far ;) My brother was doing Murph at the same time in another place, that's deep. It took about 32min from him. Got to try it some day.

Back to Nicole. Run 400 meters, then complete as many pull-ups as possible without dropping from the pull-up bar. Have no idea how fast I was running each round, my timer was on the ground. Even though my upper back was kinda jammed I still hoping to break that old 33-rep record of mine.

On the first round the pull-ups started to feel heavier than normally at about 15 reps. Shouldn't feel like that at this stage. However, I was able to force more reps, little by little I reached 35 reps and a new PR! Didn't come easy though. This gave me more confidence as I felt I wasn't at my best because the pull-ups started to feel heavy earlier than they should have.

For the net 3 rounds the number of pull-ups was 15 each round, and on the last rounds a bit less. Total of 120 reps and it was time. My lats were smashed already after the first round of 35 so I had some difficult thoughts about how to perform pull-ups with style. Here's the number of pull-ups each round:
  • 1st round. 35 reps
  • 2nd round. 15 reps
  • 3rd round. 15 reps
  • 4th round. 15 reps
  • 5th round. 10 reps
  • 6th round. 10 reps
  • 7th round. 12 reps
  • 8th rounds. 8 reps
  • Total of 120 reps

Marko's workout.

  • 800m run
  • 50 wood thrusters
  • 50 burpees
  • 50 lunges
  • 800m run

Good amount of reps for this fellow! A lot of sweat was shed and muscles will hurt tomorrow, and the day after. The only thing he subbed was the amount of burpees, dropped from 50 to 30. And the last sprint of his was phenomenal. It was cool to see him give his everything and sprint like a mad man!